Security services are not able to access Westminster attacker Adrian Ajao’s final WhatsApp message. As a result, Amber Rudd has warned internet companies that give terrorists a secure environment to conduct their activities.
Rudd, of the Home Secretary’s Office emphasized that its unacceptable for Whats App to aid terror groups by providing a secure platform where their communications cannot be monitored by authorities. Whats App encrypts communications of its users.
Rudd called on WhatsApp, Facebook, Google and a host of other online firms to attend talks at the Home Office on Thursday. Adrian Ajao’s, the Westminster attacker aged 52, sent a final message via WhatsApp three minutes before he unleashed the attack.
Scotland Yard and the security services are not in a position to access the message. The message could help the officers in conducting their investigations.
WhatsApp uses end to end encryption. This prevents even its own technical staff from accessing people’s messages. This has made it impossible for the police to establish who accompanied Ajao.
Rudd also slammed the internet companies for not considering the nature of the attack which happened on Wednesday. She insisted that WhatsApp should be cooperating with the police authorities.
She also revealed that the government was considering legislation that would force online companies to eliminate extremist content. Google and other companies have repeatedly faced criticism since the occurrence of the London attack. Many people have accused the internet giant for failing to block terrorist’s guides on how to stage attacks.
The internet company, WhatsApp has emphasized that protecting its user’s privacy is one of its core beliefs. The company also revealed that the end-to-end encryption does not allow its staff to access the content of the messages, only the sender and the receiver have that capability.
Rudd insisted that companies such as WhatsApp need to be restricted from having a secure environment where terror groups can establish secure communications.
The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said that the security services have adequate power, adding that there is a question of always balancing the right to know, the need to know, with the right to privacy.
In Brazil, WhatsApp was blocked three times for failing to hand over information on criminal activities. Rudd suggested that internet companies should design systems that can allow authorities to access communications when its necessary.